Saturday, February 27, 2010

Deadly Saturday

My heart goes out to our brothers and sisters in Chile, struck by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake in the early hours of Saturday.

As I write these lines, a tsunami is expected to hit Hawaii any moment now. My thoughts are with our brothers and sisters in Hawaii as well.

Volleyball Saturday Pics (Moving Image Setting)

Although I missed a good portion of Paula's game, I was still able to snap a few pics.




The last one is my favorite pic of Paula today.

Soccer Saturday Pics (Moving Image Setting)

Still playing with the moving image setting in my Pentax camera. Due to overlapping scheduled, I stayed with Isa during her whole game while Gabriel dropped Paula off.











Friday, February 26, 2010

Crossing the threshold

My doctor gave me bad news this morning. After the latest A1C test results she said it was time to go over the line and officially diagnose me as a type 2 diabetic. It's like being handed a death sentence. I have told two people so far, and both times I have been unable to keep myself from crying.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Olvido mi propia lengua. Se me anquilosa el cerebro. La mediana edad deviene decrepitud de la inteligencia. A casi diez años de vivir en la diáspora, siento los efectos de no vivir a tiempo completo en una cultura hispanoparlante. El bilinguismo se torna corrosivo, a cada rato me doy cuenta de que he cometido un anglicismo en conversación con mi familia en la isla.

Vivo con un gringo y dos TexaRicans. En mi casa se habla inglés la mayoría del tiempo, excepto cuando estoy tan enojada o cansada que pierdo el idioma. Todos entienden las malas palabras y los cariños en español. "Puñeta" es una de las malas favoritas de mi marido. Para las niñas the bottle siempre fue el bibí; el chupete siempre fue el "bobo." La grande habla el español very self-consciously, la manera en que aspira las s al final de una palabra y convierte las r en l es aún más pronunciada que en mí. ¿A qué se debe esto? Sin una base sólida en gramática, es bilingue lite. Peleamos a la hora de escoger sus electivas para el próximo año. Ella preferiría tomar francés en séptimo grado y dejar español para octavo. Yo insisto que tiene que tomar español los dos años, especialmente si quiere tener la oportunidad de estudiar en la UPR como me dice a veces.

La chiquita, la que es mitad boricua y no pasa los veranos en la isla, aprende los rudimentos de la lengua gracias a Muzzy y a sus maestras en el cuido y Pre-K. No solamente sabe los colores y los números del uno al veinte en español, sino que aprendió a roll the r's; sabe decir perro en vez de pero. Aunque prefiere decir dog. Me entiende perfectamente cuando le digo "ven acá" o "cierra la puerta", pero le falta tanto por aprender aún. Se fascinó cuando le conté del Cuco y ahora quiere que le cante todas las noches "Duérmete mi niña" seguida de "Rock-a-bye Baby"

Estoy rusty, no solamente en cuanto al español. Llevo demasiados años hablando spreadsheet, un idioma de números danzantes en la computadora, cuyos mensajes sirven para apaciguar a los jefes de la multinacional que me emplea. Tranquilo, jefe, tranquilo. It's all good, just look at these figures that prove me right. Copacetic.

No tengo mucha gente con quien puedo hablar mi idioma a gusto. Mucho menos gente con quien hablar de temas que verdaderamente me interesan. Mi trabajo impone brevedad y concisión. Todo pensamiento tiene que ser destilado al máximo, tal como le gusta a los ejecutivos. Me ha tomado varios años desarrollar la habilidad de reducir asuntos sumamente complicados a dos o tres oraciones que quepan en un slide de PowerPoint. Es una destreza muy valorada en mi trabajo, pero en la vida real me rinde muda o superficial. Peor aún, he perdido la paciencia en lo que respecta a textos elaborados o extensos. Me aburren, me hacen gritar just get on with it already. Tengo que reaprender a disfrutar el viaje y perder de vista la meta.


Often I complain about my cats. The female has a bad habit of chewing plastic. I have even caught her trying to chew on electric cables! She also has scratched the leather couch and chair, even though we mostly keep them covered. We have a scratching post and that has made things better, thankfully. The male cat sheds like crazy and makes me sneeze with his dander. He neglects to cover after himself when he uses the litter box, which causes me to rush with the scoop so as to eliminate the stench. He also has a tendency to gorge on food, and that causes him to throw up sometimes.

As much as I complain, I love my cats. None of their behaviors make me want to get rid of them. As our pets, they are part of the family and we have a responsibility to care for them and stick with them until their time comes.

Today I was looking through the Houston SPCA Available Cat Adoptions page and it broke my heart to see so many older cats in need of a home. I try not to judge people who give up older adult pets, since I do not know what is their situation. I wonder what turn of the wheel would drive them to do such a thing, if they have fallen on hard times, whether they are feeling as sad as I would feel in that situation. Older cats are not adopted at the same rate as kittens, so many of these pets will likely be euthanized. It's truly heartbreaking.

That being said, I feel it is important to make a difference between giving up a pet to a shelter, and abandoning or hurting an animal, like this idiot did.

I was visiting the SPCA website because I am looking for a dog. I do not know if/when we will get one, but both girls keep insisting on a dog, so I decided to see who was up for adoption. While there, I checked out the cat adoptions page and I have not been able to get those older cats out of my head for hours.

I am highly allergic to dog hair/dander, more so than with cats, and I have heard of a few breeds that may be tolerable for me, so I wanted to see if there were any puppies of those breeds available. I need a puppy so the cats can get used to the dog and the dog grows up tolerant of cats. A lot of people have recommended poodles as a breed good for people with allergies/asthma. We'll see what happens.

If you are looking to adopt an animal, please do not buy from pet shops. Adopt instead. There are many shelters and rescue organizations dedicated to caring for animals and placing them in good homes. Pets help brighten our lives with their silly antics and unconditional love.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Smile for the camera

Here are some pictures of Isabel from a few minutes ago. The morning is cold, so I dressed her in jeans and boots, with a matching headband. Gabe had just given her a vitamin. She took some time chewing it so she was reluctant to smile at first, no matter how many goofy faces I made.

Isa, Lola and Chuckanucka

I don't want to smile








Sometimes I regret not carrying my camera with me at all times. I certainly wish I had brought it yesterday evening to Isabel's soccer practice. There were plenty of missed photo opportunities.

I love the YMCA soccer fields. A thick of trees surrounds the area so there is greenery everywhere you look. Yesterday evening was a bit chilly, but crisp, and quite nice if you bundled up. I was sitting right behind a goal post and the kids were in the middle of the field, their backs to me as they lined up in front of their coach. It would have made for a beautiful picture, with the crescent Moon in the background on a beautiful, clear night sky.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I am late in the photography challenge. I was supposed to post pictures from last week, but Gabe's trip and the start of Isa and Paula's sports seasons at the Y left me with very little time off.

I will try to make up for it by posting double the number of pictures this weekend.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Google Search Ad spoof

I thought this was funny. For the record, I have quite a strong aversion to Palin.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

L is for Lola


It is too bad that humans are social animals. Sometimes it is best to be alone, but in the end it gets to you.

I have been cooped up in this house too long. Working from home has its drawbacks. I have alienated so many people without meaning to. My life is entirely consumed with work and taking care of family. I don't really spend much time with any of my friends. When the vast majority of your human interactions are with your nuclear family, and things get rough with one of them, it can be pretty detrimental to your mental well being.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Friday was OK. I drove Paula and her friends to Friday Night Live. I took Isa out to dinner afterwards. Gabe came home all tired from his office move.

I am exhausted. I am not sleeping well and I am starting to wonder if I have sleep apnea myself.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Here we go again

It's Friday. I should be excited, shouldn't I? Instead, I cringe. The last couple of Fridays have been awful. We have had fights. Now I feel as if the start of the weekend is jinxed forever and would rather it be a month of workdays. Predictably, I always want what I do not have.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wednesday afternoon

Images captured in the last fifteen minutes:

Nosy neighbors


Twitter bores me. I don't know if it is due to the quality of tweets from the list of people I follow, or the fact that posting constantly does not appeal to me. I set a goal of posting one stupid tweet a day and I could not even keep up with that.

Twitter has potential, but most of the time it is just the cyberspace equivalent of the inane and pointless chatter that I avoid like the plague. Do I really give a crap about where these yahoos are having coffee, how backed up traffic is or how excited they were the day the iPad was launched?

The only reason why I do not quit altogether and delete my account is that I like my name and I do not want to lose it.


Blood glucose level @ 9:40 AM: 97

This is two hours after having my morning coffee. I am feeling hungry now, so I need a snack. Yesterday I started taking Metformin again. I had stopped taking it beforfe the end of the year, and when I saw my doctor last week she tsk-tsk'd me, so I am taking it again. I am terrible at taking my medications regularly. Consistent routines are always a challenge.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


One of my favorite things at work is when I have a chance to speak Spanish with a coworker in an unexpected context. The organization I work for has an Americas scope (US, CA, LA), so I talk and exchange emails in Spanish frequently. But my favorite is when somebody in a non-Latin America role turns out to be a native Spanish speaker, because then we speak Spanish for fun, not for necessity.


I miss Old San Juan, walking down calle Tanca, the adoquines, taking a stroll amid the hustle and bustle of tourists, shop employees and government workers. I wish I could visit Old San Juan without a list of things to do and see. I don't want to be a tourist in my homeland.


No matter what I do, no matter how much I accomplish in life, I have never been able to shake a persistent and overpowering sense of failure that has haunted me for years. Every week, at least once (usually more often), a thought assaults me: you could have been so much more, if only you had tried harder.

I hate the critic inside. She is biased against me, and implacable. I can't escape her. Nothing I do or say (nothing anybody else does or says, for that matter) will change her mind. I am a failure in her eyes. My transgressions are copious and legendary, and I will never redeem myself.

Monday, February 01, 2010


I have a friend back in Puerto Rico whose Facebook status updates terrify me. He is an old childhood friend, just like family to me. He is in pain, and he posts messages that scare me, as if he has given up on life already. I wish I could change things for him, reach out and take his pain away. All I can do is send him messages saying I love him, and hope that it counts for something. I can't fix life for him, and it saddens me.

It's been rough for me lately too. There have been fights at home and sickness. I have strep throat, so I am on antibiotics. I need to be very careful this season lest I get sick like last year.

Natural light vs. Flash

Two more pictures for the {seven}52 challenge, week 4:

Natural light

Flash photography

Personally, I prefer the natural light, but the picture has a slightly blurred quality and I am not sure why. I need to keep working on this until I figure it out.